Bringing the jury closer to the crime scene using RV provides more accurate results

A new investigation by the University of South Australia finds overwhelming evidence in favor of the use of RV in the courtroom putting jurors at the center of a crime scene.

Issuing the right verdict on traffic accident and murder cases depends on good spatial awareness, but aside from being at the crime scene, the margin for error is wide. Thanks to the advent of virtual reality (VR), juries are now more likely to make the right decision.

In the study, a team of investigators, legal professionals, police and forensics simulated a scene of success and reconstruction of the facts with a laser scanner to compare the verdicts between jurors who used 3D headphones and those who relied on photographs of the scene.

According to the researchers, the result was better memory, spatial accuracy, and more consistent verdicts in the case of the jurors (30 study participants) who used interactive technology.

“VR requires significantly less effort than the use of photographs to combine the sequence of events,” says Dr Andrew Cunningham of UniSA’s Australian Research Center for Interactive and Virtual Environments.

The study found that participants who watched the scene through a 3D headset were 9.5 times more likely (86.67%) to choose the same verdict, Death by Dangerous Driving, than the group they relied on. in photographs. That group split 47/53% between a careless driving verdict and a dangerous driving verdict.

Participants who were immersed in the scene were more likely to correctly remember the location of the car in relation to the victim at the time of the accident. Instead, it was difficult for people to visualize the scene from still images.

“This provides unequivocal evidence that interactive technology leads to fairer and more consistent verdicts and, in fact, could be the future of courtrooms,” says Dr. Cunningham.

Lead researcher Dr. Carolin Reichherzer says site visits remain the gold standard for providing jurors with a realistic impression of a scene, but they also have drawbacks.

“They’re expensive, especially in remote places, and in some cases the place has changed, making accurate visualization impossible,” says Dr. Reichherzer.

Virtual reality takes precedence in the international arena, and the most famous example is 2019, when the Bavarian state criminal office created an interactive scene of the famous Auschwitz concentration camp to help the prosecution case in a war crimes trial.

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